2018 Ness Creek Music Festival Lineup
Keep an eye out around your neighborhood for the full Ness 2018 Program!
Closer to the festival date, hard copies of the program will be available where Planet S and Prairie Dog are found and a downloadable PDF will be found here.
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Born from the fusing of seven uniquely talented Winnipeg-based musicians, Apollo Suns have created a refreshing and innovative sound combining instrumental, rock, jazz and experimental music. They constantly challenge themselves by constructing jazz-influenced songs with the end goal of maintaining an overall accessible and catchy track for listeners of all kinds.
Bears in Hazenmore is an ambient alternative rock group from the heart of the prairies ~ Regina, Saskatchewan. Since its formation in 2014, the band has become known for creating atmospheric soundscapes and their ability to draw audiences in with intimate lyrics and enticing builds. Operating as a five-piece ensemble, that includes extensive use of effects-driven guitar, brass and woodwind textures, and dynamic percussion, they draw strong comparisons to groups such as Bon Iver and City and Colour.
Winnipeg-based guitarist/harmonica player/songsmith, Big Dave McLean, is a highly acclaimed Canadian Roots and Blues artist. A multiple award winner and recording artist, with a career spanning nearly four decades, McLean has become an influence on many Canadian players. His gruff raspy voice, with a feel for the traditional acoustic and electric Blues, has established him as a stalwart on the Canadian Blues scene.
Billy Bean is a Saskatchewan-based bilingual duo composed of Émi and Byrun. Though they pair like a vase and a bull in a china shop, they complement each other seamlessly. Émi’s whiskey-honey voice and fragility is juxtaposed with Byrun’s upbeat and chaotic musical prowess; together they sound like that morning-after raspy voice you wake up with after a memorable night out! Billy Bean is playful and has a joie de vivre that is almost näive, but their words will break your heart.
Regina-based, 15 year music veteran Brodie Moniker (PandaCorn, Fancy Diamonds), is a truly diverse talent with sophisticated songwriting, artistic arrangements, and progressive pop presentations. Moniker puts his entire being into every song, challenging listeners’ presumed ideas of modern rock, reminiscent of past and present sound masters like Zappa, Brian Eno, Nick Drake, and Jack White. Poppy and exploratory, Moniker combines modern avant-garde sensibilities with a pop flare, creating brave, listenable music, pushing boundaries while retaining an accessible ear.
Jazz boy gone rapper. Connor Newton - Contrafact - is a young, up-and-coming freelance jazz musician who is reintroducing himself through his debut hip hop album, How to Succeed at Nothing. This album is about starting over and using all the tools at your disposal to make the best of it. As well as rapping and singing, Contrafact demonstrates his skill as a jazz musician with a saxophone solo on the track Wild West (Let’s Test It) while also adding various riffs and licks throughout
Rocky Lakner and Donny Millikin, the son of Jack Millikin, The Grandfather of Ness Creek, are two of the Crooked Creek scribes, best buddies and song writing masters, with an on-and-off stage chemistry that is uncontainable, comical, clever and entertaining. Joined by long-time friend Kelly Read, and with nearly forty years of musical glory, this local favourite, and Ness Creek house band, will be sure to get you on your feet and steal your heart away.
Dylan Cooper is a singer songwriter from Saskatoon and Baker Lake, Nunavut. His songs contain themes of love stemming from his experiences in both his homes. His guitar playing is complex and melodic, while his songs are emotional and guitar driven. Inspired by Mississippi John Hurt and My Morning Jacket, his songs and humour will welcome you in as if standing in his very own kitchen.
Hailing from a dairy farm in Saskatchewan, young hip-swinger, folk-singer Ellen Froese is a musician and songwriter who also plays in the bluegrass/folk group In With The Old. With performances including Folk Alliance International in Kansas City and Merlefest in North Carolina, Ellen is certainly a busy bee. Her latest endeavour is grooving with her rock 'n' roll-inspired back-up band, the Hot Toddies. Whether performing traditional tunes, rock 'n' roll classics or originals, Ellen has found a home onstage. Get ready to shake it, baby!
Emmett Hall has established a unique sound, moving seamlessly between folk-rock grooves and catchy pop hooks that can move any type of crowd to their feet. With members in Swift Current, Saskatoon and Regina, this multi-talented collective has met the challenge of maintaining their dynamic connection and commitment to music. Emmett Hall’s sound blends rich musical textures, layered harmonies, wood-wind touches, and poetic lyricism, appealing to all musical sensibilities.
Dap Records is proud to announce the arrival of Dynasty Horse, the sixth studio release by Hooded Fang. This new album brings dark, driving rhythms, ethereal synths, and poetic storytelling that share heroic stories of struggle and resilience. Lyricists April Aliermo and Daniel Lee each honour family members by recounting their families' lives back in the motherland (The Philippines, Germany, Surinam), and chronicle journeys of migration, and reveal times of triumph.
Canadian singer-songwriter Jerry Leger is driven by a quest to convey the purity embedded in the grooves of vintage rock, country and blues recordings. This attracted support from singer/songwriters Doug Paisley, Jim Lauderdale, and Ron Sexsmith (who called him “one of the best songwriters I’ve heard in quite some time”) and his staunchest ally, Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies, who signed Jerry to his label, Latent Recording. He has been called “one of Canada’s best” by Exclaim! and a “gifted storyteller” by The Toronto Star.
Founded and fronted by émigré Trinidadian songwriter Drew Gonsalves, Kobo Town’s music has been described as “an intoxicating blend of lilting calypsonian wit, dancehall reggae and trombone-heavy brass” (Guardian) and a “unique, transnational composite of rhythm, poetry and activist journalism” (Exclaim!). Gonsalves' songs betray deep roots in Caribbean folk music, while the band delivers them with an indomitable energy that has earned them a considerable following far beyond the niche of world music enthusiasts and calypso fans.
Kuné – Canada’s Global Orchestra was created by The Royal Conservatory of Music to celebrate the cultural diversity and pluralism of Canada. 12 members were chosen from more than 100 new Canadians from 47 countries. They’ve performed at: Toronto’s 150 celebrations, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, Calgary’s National Music Centre, the Banff Centre for Arts, and at numerous summer festivals. Kuné means “together” in Esperanto. Each member has found a new home, in a new land, and illustrates what is possible when we listen to one another – together.
In her new album, Seeker, Saskatchewan singer/songwriter Megan Nash collaborates with ambient/alt-rock unit Bears In Hazenmore with brilliant results. In sharp contrast to the starkness of her previous acclaimed album, Song Harvest Volume One, Seeker takes Nash’s roots-based songwriting into bold new sonic territory. As the concept of Seeker suggests, Megan is in the midst of her personal quest for spiritual meaning. Her chosen path is through music, and as an artistic statement, Seeker displays the breadth of Nash’s talents as a songwriter, vocalist and producer.
Mob Bounce is a Hip Hop duo formed in 2010 with the release of their Mixed Blood Mixtape. Travis Adrian Hebert and Craig Frank Edes have been writing & recording music since 2004. Craig is Gitxsan and Travis is Cree/Metis. These two Aboriginal artists have exceptional experience playing guitar and drums and have blended their musicianship with elements of Electronic Dance Music and Hip Hop production, incorporating aspects of cultural identity with artistic identity, experimenting with free toning (chanting), and a soundscape influenced by sounds of Nature.
The music of taylor Jade has been called enigmatic. Stoic and melancholy lyricism, juxtaposed against light and airy acoustic guitar melodies, her solo and joint musical projects portray a conflicted array of emotions. Vulnerable, deep, and very authentic, taylor’s music expresses a sojourn into loss, challenge, and introspection. Her stage presence has been called unassuming, inviting the audience not only to listen, but also to participate in the vulnerability of the moment, leaving her audience moved, and potentially, a little in love with the girl.
The Classy Chassys are an eclectic, energetic band from Saskatoon that have been combining rockabilly with punk, blues, country, and jazz for over 10 years. They’ve made their mark across Canada with highly entertaining live shows filled with memorable originals along with unique choices and arrangements of covers. With a wide array of influences ranging from The Strat Cats to Rancid, The Classy Chassys continue to put all they have into every show while maintaining their reputation as the ultimate party band.
The Dead South is a Canadian folk-bluegrass musical ensemble based in Regina. The band initially formed in 2012 by Nate Hilts (vocals, guitar, mandolin), Scott Pringle (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Danny Kenyon (cello, vocals) and Colton Crawford, on banjo. Colton left the band in 2015 and was replaced by Eliza Mary Doyle. Known for their rousing, impossible-to-stand-still, sold out live performances, The Dead South blends elements of folk, bluegrass, classical, and rock which results in a unique, modern, and authentic blend of boot-stompin' acoustic music.
This energetic, hard-riff rock quartet delivers serious musicianship with powerful female vocals. The foursome delivers a strong live performance and has something to offer fellow musicians and show-goers alike. Their sound has evolved to incorporate a variety of musical styles and influences including punk rock, heavy metal, desert rock and the likes of Danko Jones and Queens of the Stone Age.
The Garrys are a trio of sisters from Saskatoon who play chilled out prairie garage doom-wop. Their harmonies are dreamy and precise, and their instrumentation stays true to the likes of Dick Dale and early Beatles. They pull a strong influence from early reverb rock'n'roll and 1950s-era vocal harmonies. If Ed Sullivan went on a date with the Spice Girls, they would eat ice cream sandwiches and dance to the Garrys. Like father, like daughter(s). The Garrys are Erica Maier, Julie Maier and Lenore Maier.
The Great Fuss are steadily building a reputation for their astounding live performances and for the originality and diversity of their music. Formed in 2015, The Great Fuss graced the stage of the Ness Creek Music Festival in 2016 and has played several great venues, including Amigos Cantina and the Horseshoe Tavern. The group's song Chains was selected in the CBC Searchlight competition for the Top 10 in All of Saskatchewan in 2017 and they also released their eponymous album in October of 2017.
Named after the cluster of galaxies containing the Milky Way, the Local Group plays acoustic music of astronomical proportions. The trio of high school homies put their own unique spin on bluegrass, celtic, classic country, and traditional Canadian music. Featuring hot banjo and guitar picking, tight harmonies, and a mixed bag of instruments including double bass, fiddle, harmonica, penny whistle and triangle, their show will take you out of this world on a rocket fueled by pure folk music.
The Madtrappers are a countrified super group of rowdies ~ famous at heart, infamous at home. Led by songwriter Richard Inman, this is their second time on the Ness Creek Stage. Micah Erenberg (a gifted songwriter in his own right), Nick Rempel (Teleharmonium), Jesse Millar (Romi Mayes band) and Ryan Funk (Romi Mayes band), round out the lineup. Influenced by the folk, country, and rock and roll of the 1970s, they have become a crowd favourite throughout western Canada.
Humble. Sincere. Earned stories told from backgrounds that are truly Canadian born and bred. Coast to Coast. Heart to Heart. Honest. Simple Folk and Roll. Gillian Snider had this to say on their facebook page: “I love this band! Amazing songwriting, amazing fun, amazing musicians … I mean really! Soulful grit, complemented with sweet sweet harmonies, this band is definitely one of Saskatoon's best kept secrets.”
The essence of The Sadies’ story can be summed up with the powerful image of the aurora borealis adorning the cover of their latest album, Northern Passages. Ever since the quartet, comprised of singer/guitarists Dallas and Travis Good, bassist Sean Dean and drummer Mike Belitsky, first arrived on the North American scene 20 years ago, their music has never been less than awe-inspiring. They are a band that fans cling to like a closely guarded secret, with each new release fulfilling the promise to reach further.
The Windows Up Above originally formed to play a night of Neil Young covers at a curling club in Regina in December 2015. They enjoyed playing together so much that they decided to record some songs that vocalists Devon Floyd and Christopher Sleightholm had been sitting on. They've since added Marshall Burns to the lineup reuniting the three songwriters of The Lonesome Weekends.
It's easy to forget that This Way North is a two-piece band. Drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitar/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla create an expansive sound that translates effortlessly from the studio to the stage. Cat and Leisha are enjoying life on the road, but one thing is evident ~ their sound/their home is on stage. Touring in support of their new EP, Vol. 2, This Way North plays with passion and energy, building a sound that is big, rhythmic, spacious, and saturated with summer and seriously fun times.
Twin Voices is an indie electro-folk project with roots in the Ottawa Valley and wings in Saskatoon, Toronto, and Montréal. Laura Beach crafts a dark and lovely sound with imagery that draws on a life well-lived between small towns and cityscapes. Live-looping of violin, voice, synth, percussion, and guitar make for a performance that is equal parts stunning simplicity and playful complexity.
Wolf Willow is an alt-country band from the fictional town of Darston, Saskatchewan. A Wolf Willow show features ripping swing tunes and hard hitting honky tonk numbers (all with a horn section) presented in the format of an old time radio show. Wolf Willow's new record Caribou Howl was released winter 2018 and has charted across western Canada. At Ness Creek, Wolf Willow is pleased to present a special edition of the Radio Hour with surprise guests and features.